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Nigeria: New Yam Festival

Ugo Daniels informs us about the New Yam Festival: “It’s getting nearer to that time of the year when every Igbo person gathers to celebrate the Iwa ji afo (New Yam Festival). For those who may want to know, Yam is the main agricultural crop of the Igbos and also the staple food of our people. The New Yam Festival known as ‘Iwa-Ji’ or ‘Iri-Ji’ is a celebration depicting the prominence of yam in the social-cultural life of our people.”

4 comments

  • Dedeigbo

    we have a bar beach, we need a Rawlings to execute the following for the poverty in Nigeria; OBJ, Akala, Adedibu(before he dies), Odili, Alamiesegha, Igbinedion x2, Anenih, Bode george, Gbenga Daniel, Ubah x2, El Rufai, Ndidi Okereke(Transcorp), Otedola x2(Energy price in Nigeria), Victor Attah, Afe Babalola, Fayose, ,,,,,,,,,,, pls complete this list people lets start the campaign
    Dedeigbo
    Manchester

  • mary

    hi,
    good morning, i thank God for the person who built this site and keeps updating it cause not only tourists look for information about nigeria the great country but some local ones too.
    I have an assignment saying,’draw a scene of the New Yam festival’ but the truth is that I have never been to any nigerian festival and I have no idea how it would look like so I have been asking people and searching the web and now that i finally saw this site i see no pictures. please if you dont mind me asking, send me a picture of the new yam festival in full to my email address and if possible, let it be today.
    Thanks again and may God bless you.
    Mary.

  • dera

    hello to every one our, our culture is our heritage and our heriatge our identity

  • emeka

    New Yam Festival (a.k.a. Iri-ji ) -I think it is One of the biggest festivals celebrated by the Igbos, which i am proud to be part of. It is celebrated in the month August of each year. The individual Igbo communities each have their days for this august occasion. This day symbolizes the conclusion of a work cycle and the beginning of another. Invitation to the new yam festival is usually open to everyone. What this means, is that there is abundant food for not just the harvesters but also for friends and well-wishers. A variety of festivities mark the eating of new yam. These festivities include cultural dances.

    On the last night before the festival, yams of the old year are gotten rid of by those who still have them. This is because it is believed that the New Year must begin with tasty, fresh yams instead of the old dried-up crops of the previous year.

    Before the festival starts, the yams are offered to gods and ancestors first before distributing them to the villagers. The ritual is performed either by the oldest man in the community or by the king. They eat the first yam because it is believed that their position gives them the privilege of being intermediaries between their communities and the gods of the land. The rituals involved in the new yam eating are meant to express the community’s appreciation to the gods for making the harvest of their yams possible.

    At the new yam festival, only dishes of yam are served since the festival is symbolic of the abundance of the produce. So much of it is cooked that, no matter how heavily the family eats or how many friends and relatives they invite, there is always a so much food left over at the end of the day.

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